Monday, January 31, 2011

CASO Industry Forum Post Report - Shirlyn Antonio

Dear Members and Non-Members:

CASO is pleased to advise that our forum held on Wednesday, January 12th at the OITC was well attended by all invited guests and was very successful in reaching a consensus as a unified group on how to promote the industry. It was a pleasure and honour having so many representatives from various studios, colleges, government officials and freelancers who all wanted to hear and participate in the discussion on the recommendations listed in the industry strategy report, commissioned by CASO, prepared by Tom Wesson Consulting and generously funded by the OMDC.
The meeting scheduled at 9:30am was excellently moderated by Neishaw Ali (President of Spin) who sits on the CASO board as Chair Standards and consisted of a handful of panellist who were selected based on their knowledge and expertise of the industry, their previous involvement in gathering stats and working on such reports, or their contributions and dedication in assisting/preparing the report. The combined efforts of the panellist who consisted of Tom Wesson (Tom Wesson Consulting), Ron Haney (CEO/Executive Director of DCG Ontario, Board Director of FilmOntario), Nick Gray (Board Executive and Founding Member of Seventh Man Films, Board Director of FilmOntario) and Ron Estey (2009 Past President of CASO) were exceptional in answering questions, providing recommendations and feedback on the report and sharing their knowledge of the industry on what strategies should be implemented to help our industry in the future and how we should continue our efforts to establish Ontario as a stable and thriving Film and Television Community.

The forum centered around the recommendations as outlined in the report and was presented by Tom Wesson, who touched based on how the recommendations were gathered, the rationalization behind the findings and what should be the next steps in achieving our objectives of promoting our industry.

Once each recommendation was addressed, the discussion was opened to the Panel, as well as to the floor for any feedback or analysis on the stated recommendation. Overall, the consensus from all present was that the recommendations and findings were concise and accurate, and “we” as one body should work together to achieve our goal of keeping our industry a viable market, staying competitive, creating high quality work, achieving effective communications amongst ourselves and to attract investments, and fine tune the tax credits making it payable to the producers and modifying the residency requirements.

It is clear that our members and invited guest present at the forum spoke as one “Voice” and represented ourselves as a community ready to see change to our OCASE tax credit. There is no division or boundaries amongst ourselves from what we would like to recommend to the OCASE tax credit. In fact, we are all in agreement that to be competitive and to stay in the game, we have to follow suit with other markets and offer incentives to producers that would attract more work to Ontario. In promoting and marketing our industry competitively, we need to focus on quality, infrastructure, communications and team work, along with the recommended changes to our tax credits.

The Computer Animation Studios of Ontario will continue to promote the Ontario Animation and Visual Effects industry with the support of our Government, our private sector and others within the industry to promote and advocate change for the overall benefit of our industry. We hope the outlined recommendations for the OCASE tax credits will be reviewed and accepted by the government especially since we are lobbying as one “Voice”.

Shirlyn Antonio


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